Greetings from the Cheyenne River Nation! Over the past couple weeks, you may have seen some of the news about our recent celebration of Wounded Knee Liberation Day’s 50th anniversary. The full weekend included a number of activities — including a ceremony, educational panels, the annual Four Directions Walk, and Warrior Women Project’s interactive exhibit on the women leaders of the American Indian Movement (AIM). Today, I urge you to watch our video narrated by my daughter, Marcella, featuring some of the weekend’s highlights.
Click above to watch: My relative and AIM compatriot Bill Means of the Oglala Nation addresses the many who attended this year’s Four Directions March in commemoration of Wounded Knee Liberation Day.
If you’ve been reading our emails, you’re already aware that what happened in the village of Wounded Knee a half century ago will live on forever. When law enforcement converged on the Pine Ridge Reservation and put us under a months-long siege, they unwittingly gave us an unparalleled media platform. We became a fixture on nightly news broadcasts, and suddenly our movement to win justice and promote the sovereignty of Native nations inspired solidarity across the world.
Today, that movement has only gained momentum, thanks to allies like you and new generations of Native leaders like Marcella, my granddaughter DeCora Hawk, Chase Iron Eyes, Chase’s daughter Tokata, and many more. And new forms of media now give us increased control of our own message. We have the agency and visibility to build alliances and resistance efforts and the means to amplify our concerns.
Your support is so critical to making sure Indigenous communities struggle less and thrive more. As far as we’ve come, too many Native People remain on the frontlines of the environmental justice battle. From mining and pipelines to cultural appropriation, we’re reminded every day that racism is real. So, as always, my deep appreciation and gratitude to you for all that you do to move us forward.
Wopila tanka — thank you for your friendship!
Madonna Thunder Hawk
Cheyenne River Organizer
The Lakota People’s Law Project